Last year, the Business Travel Show demonstrated that more money was being freed up in the business travel market in 2015, with a third (33%) of European business travel buyers admitting to having more money to spend. Shortly after that, figures from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) confirmed that spending on business travel in Germany, Britain, France, Spain and Italy is set to grow from $186.3 billion in 2014 to an expected figure of $210.6 billion in 2016.
Clearly the face of business travel is rapidly changing and as the number of business travellers across the globe grows so too do their expectations. Which is precisely why we, at Priority Pass, recently undertook research amongst the world’s most frequent business travellers to understand some of these changes:
The rise of the travelling young professional – A new group of frequent flyers and business travellers has surfaced among 26-35 year olds, who are demonstrating distinctive travel and spending habits. This group are very well-travelled, making an average of 24 round trips per year and nine business class flights. They are keen to show they are ‘making it’, take an average of seven gadgets while they fly and spend money on additional business travel benefits that offer convenience and comfort, more so than the older business travel demographics surveyed.
The growing importance of lounges and luxury – Did you know that when given the choice, 73% of business travellers choose to enhance their trips with added benefits like airport lounge access and travel concierge services rather than staying in 4* or 5* hotels? And that airport lounge access is today considered an essential or nice to have for 69% of the UK’s frequent business travellers? Luxury travel perks are being increasingly called upon by today’s business travellers. Interestingly, following feedback from focus groups of our members, Asian business travellers in particular also value the prestige and status that luxury travel benefits - like lounge access - bring to their trip.
Growing need for digital experience – Today’s business travellers expect everything, to be available digitally 24/7. To meet this demand we are seeing a rise in new services such as digital airline tickets, airport apps and digital membership cards for airport lounge access. With an enthusiasm for technology, business travellers value apps, smartphones and digital experiences expecting unique offers, regularly updated digital content and a seamless handover between all channels. 61% of those we surveyed cite gadgets as their biggest indulgence, while 90% spend more than 5 hours a week on their smartphone.
This blog post was written by Stephen Simpson, Global Marketing Director, Priority Pass
The Priority Pass team will be at the Business Travel Show and look forward to discussing business travel trends and how you can support your business travelers at stand B422.